As a conference on mental health medication safety takes place in London, Dr Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, praises a new project:
A vital new scheme could provide the exciting breakthrough we need to engage with young people about their mental health medication.
HeadMeds fills the information gap about mental health medication and is an essential resource for all young people who need it.
Knowledge is power and HeadMeds will give young people so much more information about the bewildering world of medication so, when they visit their GP or health professional, they are armed with more resources and understanding.
The exciting and cutting-edge HeadMeds scheme has been launched by
YoungMinds, a unique new website about mental health medication for young people aged 13-25.
The website was launched with the support of comedian and former mental health nurse Jo Brand as well as ITV This Morning’s Dr Ranj.
HeadMeds has been funded by Comic Relief and the Nominet Trust as part of the Innovation Labs project which has developed a range of digital projects to improve young people’s mental health.
Created in the style of the ‘Talk to Frank’ website, HeadMeds provides young people with accessible and useful information about mental health medication during a time which is often confusing, frightening and isolating for them.
It provides information about potential side effects when a young person should go and get help.
It includes answers to some of the difficult questions that young people may have around their medication but may feel uncomfortable to ask their GP about, such as: “Will it affect my sex life or can I drink with this medication?”
Complete with real life stories and created side by side with young people, HeadMeds straight talk on mental health medication whenever young people need it.
The website has been developed by a range of pharmacology experts and young people. It has been endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the College of Mental Health Pharmacy and we have been inundated with support for this invaluable resource.
One of the young members who helped create the site said: “Taking medication for mental health problems is not just about taking a pill – it can be an emotional and physical roller coaster too.
“It’s so important young people feel they are not alone, that somewhere, someone else has faced a similar battle, a similar whirl of emotion”.
Her words say it all – I hope everyone who works with young people spreads the word about HeadMeds so that it becomes the go-to resource about mental health medication for young people.
- You can follow Geraldine Strathdee on Twitter: @DrG_NHS